From Olympic winners and lucky numbers to gas prices and coffee recipes—some things are better read visually. For a concise read, infographics are a great way to show statistical data, size relationships, dollar figure amounts, distance relations, and more. Not to mention—they make great looking content.
For those numerically-challenged like myself, infographics are a great way to actually see data. You may not realize it, but it’s likely you see and use infographics every day of your life, from checking weather on your smartphone to observing traffic signs on your way to work.
In prehistory, early humans created the first information graphics: cave paintings, and later, maps. Map-making began several millennia before writing, and the map at Çatalhöyük dates back to around 7500 BCE. Later, icons were used to keep records of cattle and stock. The Indians of Mesoamerica used imagery to depict the journeys of past generations. Illegible on their own, they served as a supportive element to memory and storytelling.
Today, information graphics surround us in all forms of media, from published works both pedestrian and scientific to road signs and manuals. They illustrate information that would be unwieldy in text form, and act as a visual shorthand for everyday concepts such as stop and go.
Now that you know what infographics are and how they’re used, I’ll leave you with some examples (click images for larger view).